In a nail-biting hunt for a missing loved one, DI Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto discover once again that the line between art, life, and death is all too easily blurred.
It’s the holiday season and Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby have landed a headlining gig at the Brighton Hippodrome, the biggest theater in the city, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savory supporting act: a tableau show of naked “living statues.” But when one of the girls goes missing and turns up dead not long after, Max and Ruby realize there’s something far more sinister than obscenity afoot in the theater.
DI Edgar Stephens is on the case. As he searches for the killer, he begins to suspect that her fatal vanishing act may very well be related to another case, the death of a quiet local florist. But just as he’s narrowing in on the missing link, Ruby goes missing, and he and Max must team up once again to find her.
About the Author
ELLY GRIFFITHS is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Brighton mystery series and the stand-alone novels The Stranger Diaries and The Postscript Murders. She is a recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. She lives in Brighton, England.
"The fourth entry in the 'Magic Men' series (The Blood Card) presents a fascinating look behind the curtain of the 1950s showbiz as well as an engaging mystery, especially when DI Stephens and his sergeants are involved."—Library Journal
"The magic is stronger than ever when the brilliant cast of characters comes together again...has consistently been a thoroughly entertaining series."—Booklist
"Solid...Griffiths nicely evokes the post-WWII zeitgeist in Britain, incorporating details about hypocritical censorship laws and the theatrical lifestyle. Those who favor human intrigues over crime solving should find this a charming holiday read."—Publishers Weekly
“Griffiths’s idiosyncratic work has dealt with the collision of the ancient and the modern, and although her latest novel is set in a strikingly evoked Brighton of the early 1950s, we see things through Griffiths’s very modern sensibility . . . Griffiths herself dispenses several acts of prestidigitation, invigorating the shop-worn format of the police procedural with a piquant mixture of humor, period detail (including the church-baiting nude tableaux of the day, which play a key role in the narrative) and truly beguiling characterization.” — Financial Times
PRAISE FOR THE MAGIC MEN MYSTERIES:
“Absorbing . . . Another great series.” — San Jose Mercury News
“Thoroughly enjoyable.” — Guardian
“Clever, immensely likeable.” — Wall Street Journal
“Enormously engaging.” — Daily Mail
“Original, lively, and gripping.” — Independent
“A wild ride full of mayhem, magic and murder.” — The Absolute
“Excellent . . . Evoking both the St. Mary Mead of Agatha Christie and the theater world of Ngaio Marsh.” — Booklist